Michigan Technological University


Center for Integrated Learning and Information Technology (CILIT)

Houghton, Michigan

182,000 GSF, 16,908 M2

Architecture, Engineering, Building Systems Consulting, Interior Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Programming


Through careful campus planning and thoughtful, lasting architectural gestures, SmithGroupJJR elevates university buildings into campus centers and gateways. In this case, a library expansion and renovation combined with a new computer science building grew to be an academic student center for Michigan Tech – and its new front door.

The client asked for a literal "window into the university," and CILIT is marked by an elevated, glass-enclosed pedestrian walkway and glimpses of student activity through ribbon windows and curtain walls. Prominence on the campus was vital, both to recognize donors and create this new primary university entry.

Supporting self-directed study was also key client goal, so the library was reconceived from a knowledge center to a platform for group and individual learning. A mix of study areas and social spaces offer integrated instructional and information systems for both graduates and undergraduates. Features include wireless networks, high-tech classrooms, a digital studio and flexible labs and research areas. As a result, library traffic jumped 105% in the first year, and the new reading room is now active 24 hours a day.

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